The case of Dolores del Río raises a number of issues related to female beauty and body: the cultural construction of beauty, in this case specifically in the United States and Mexico in the 20th century; notions of elegance in the two countries; female power and agency and the relation of both to beauty; race, ethnicity, and class as related to constructions of beauty and elegance; and the development of film stars as icons of culture, in this case not only in her own time but also in her posthumous resurgence within the Chicano movement.
Her photograph appeared in a Los Angeles Times layout with other Mexican “celebrities” — all male and mostly political figures — within a few weeks of her arrival in Hollywood in 1925, despite her not yet having appeared in a film, and she remained a celebrity and a great beauty for the rest of her life. Her story is framed within the historical contexts of the development of the U.S. and Mexican film industries (from silents to talkies and beyond) and of U.S.-Mexico cultural, political, and economic relations beginning in the 1910s, when she was a child, and moving through the 20th century.
25 May 2011, 12:00 – 14:30
Event Type: Seminar
Speakers: Linda Hall, Distinguished Professor, University of New Mexico
Venue : Room G32 (Senate House, Ground Floor)
South Block of Senate House, Ground Floor
Download a map of the central precinct with directions for getting to the University of London Senate House.